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Auburn 4, Mercer 1: Keegan Thompson shines again

The Tigers picked up a big series win over the Bears.

Zach Bland/Auburn University photo

For the fourth time in four starts, Keegan Thompson was excellent on the mound. The freshman righty shut down the Mercer bats in 4-1 Auburn win Saturday afternoon at Plainsman Park.

Thompson (3-0) pitched seven strong innings, allowing two hits and three walks while striking out five. So far this season, he has given up just one earned run, and the only thing keeping him from a 4-0 record was a ninth-inning error that allowed East Tennessee to tie the game a couple of weeks ago.

Auburn (8-6) earned the series win over Mercer, which came into the weekend ranked 12th in Warren Nolen's RPI projections. After three and a half scoreless innings, the Tigers got on the board in the bottom of the fourth. Blake Austin struck out to lead off the inning, but an error, an infield single and another error gave Auburn a 1-0 lead. With runners at second and third, Daniel Robert grounded out to second base, driving in Dan Glevenyak.

The Tigers doubled their lead in the bottom of the sixth. The inning should have ended without incident, but another error allowed Glevenyak to reach, and a stolen base put him on second with two outs. Blake Logan and Connor short walked, and Anfernee Grier came through in the clutch, driving in two with a single to right field.

Auburn put together only five hits, but with Thompson on the mound, that was plenty. The biggest thing for Sunny Golloway's team was that it took advantage of opportunities with some timely hitting. Glevenyak was 2-for-4 with two runs scored, and Grier was 2-for-5 with the two RBI. Blake Austin was 1-for-4.

Mercer (12-4) threatened in the top of the ninth, loading the bases with not outs. The Bears got a controversial run when Derrick Workman grounded out to first. Damek Tomscha stepped on the bag and threw home, and Austin appeared to block the plate and apply the tag. However, home plate umpire Mike Cheek called the runner safe, which led to Golloway's first ejection of the year. Auburn recorded the second out when Chesny Young tried to score from third on a passed ball, and the game ended on an Austin Barrett ground out back to the pitcher.

Auburn will go for the sweep Sunday at 1 p.m. CT. A starting pitcher has not been announced, but senior southpaw Michael O'Neal could be in line to take the mound.

Mercer 1 (12-4)

Player ab r h rbi bb so po a lob
LAGARDE, Sasha cf 3 1 1 0 0 0 4 0 0
YOUNG, Chesny 3b 4 0 1 0 0 0 1 4 0
BACKLUND, Nick 1b 3 0 1 0 1 1 9 0 1
MEEDER, Matt pr 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
WORKMAN, Derrick rf 3 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 1
BARRETT, Austin c 4 0 0 0 0 0 5 1 1
MOORHOUSE, Nate dh 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
MASSI, Michael ss 3 0 1 0 0 0 2 2 0
BONIN, Devin 2b 3 0 0 0 0 1 2 5 1
LEWIS, Kyle lf 2 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0
ASKEW, Ryan p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
PITTMAN, Morgan p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
GLAZE, Stephen p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
KOURTIS, Dimitri p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Totals 28 1 5 1 3 2 24 14 4

Auburn 4 (8-6)

Player ab r h rbi bb so po a lob
Anfernee Grier rf 5 0 2 2 0 1 2 0 1
Damon Haecker ss 2 0 0 0 1 1 1 4 2
Damek Tomscha 1b 3 0 0 0 1 0 13 2 1
Blake Austin c 4 0 1 0 0 1 2 2 2
Ryan Tella cf 3 1 0 0 1 0 3 0 0
Dan Glevenyak 2b 4 2 2 0 0 0 3 4 1
Jordan Ebert lf 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
Daniel Robert dh 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
Blake Logan ph 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0
Connor Short 3b 2 0 0 0 2 1 0 1 1
Keegan Thompson p 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
Trey Cochran-Gill p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Terrance Dedrick p 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0
Totals 29 4 5 3 6 5 27 14 9

Score by Innings                    R  H  E
-------------------------------------------
Mercer.............. 000 000 001 -  1  5  3
Auburn.............. 000 202 00X -  4  5  0
-------------------------------------------
E - YOUNG(2); BACKLUND(2); BONIN(6). DP - MER 1; Auburn 2. LOB - MER 4; Auburn 9. HBP - Haecker, D.. SH - LAGARDE(2); Ebert, J.(5). SB - Haecker, D.(4); Glevenyak, D(7); Short, C. 2(4). CS - Tella, R.(1).

Mercer ip h r er bb so wp bk hbp ibb ab bf fo go np
ASKEW, Ryan L,1-2 5.0 3 2 0 3 2 0 1 1 0 17 22 2 9 79
PITTMAN, Morgan 0.2 0 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 3 5 2 0 22
GLAZE, Stephen 1.1 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 6 6 1 2 11
KOURTIS, Dimitri 1.0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 3 4 0 1 22
Auburn ip h r er bb so wp bk hbp ibb ab bf fo go np
Keegan Thompson W,3-0 7.0 2 0 0 3 2 0 0 0 0 20 24 8 9 77
Trey Cochran-Gill 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 3 1 2 16
Terrance Dedrick 1.0 3 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 5 0 2 16

Win - Thompson, K. (3-0). Loss - ASKEW (1-2). Save - None. HBP - by ASKEW (Haecker, D.). BK - ASKEW(1). PB - BARRETT(2). Pitches/strikes: ASKEW 79/47; PITTMAN 22/9; GLAZE 11/8; KOURTIS 22/12; Thompson, K. 77/46; Cochran-Gill 16/8; Dedrick, T. 16/9.

Umpires - HP: Mike Cheek 1B: Vic Correll 3B: Ken Couch
Start: 3:01 pm Time: 2:25 Attendance: 2694
Weather: 64, sunny